Savor this MLS fans. Remember this victory. Next time someone tells you that it is somehow an unfair task for MLS to ask its teams to venture into Mexico for CONCACAF Champions League, make sure you point out that FC Dallas managed to pull out a 1-0 win against UNAM Pumas -- the defending Mexican Primera champions who currently sit atop the standings -- at Estadio Olimpico in a driving rain on Aug. 17, 2011. No matter the circumstances, we never again have to hear about MLS's 24-game winless streak in Mexico.
There will, undoubtedly, be people who will point out that Pumas coach Guillermo Vazquez used a mostly second-choice lineup that featured three teenagers and two 20-year-olds. They will tell you that this somehow diminishes the accomplishment. Don't let them fool you. This win counts just as much as if Pumas had used a lineup featuring every one of their starters.
I say this because up until now, no other American team has managed to win a competitive match in Mexico. Not just any MLS team, but that goes for the United States National Team, as well. I haven't gone through every lineup of every U.S.-based team to play in Mexico, but I'm sure there were at least a few that were against equally second-choice sides. None of them had won. Until now.
Especially in recent years, there have been some close calls. We surely remember Charlie Davies giving the USMNT an early lead at Azteca Stadium in 2009, but that game ended in a 2-1 Mexico victory. Last year, both Real Salt Lake and the Seattle Sounders held second-half leads in Mexico. RSL actually led 3-1 in the 75th minute, but eventually succumbed 5-4 to Cruz Azul. The Sounders led 2-0 in the 74th minute, but Humberto Suazo helped bring Monterrey a 3-2 victory.
FC Dallas made sure there would be no similar collapse. Marvin Chavez's 65th minute goal proved to be just enough, despite some of Pumas' regular starters coming on late.
It might not have been the prettiest win. Maybe there's something to be said about FC Dallas being more motivated than Pumas. I guarantee you, though, no Mexican team wanted to be the first to lose on their soil. If this is what Mexican teams needed to take this tournament more seriously, it's probably for the best.
Right now, though, let's all enjoy this win.